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Bengaluru-Madurai Vande Bharat Express to start in July as a special train

Originally scheduled to start on June 20, the service was delayed due to a fatal train accident in West Bengal on June 17.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 20:21 IST

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Bengaluru: Bengaluru will gets its seventh Vande Bharat Express in early July, which could run as a special train service for a limited period based on demand. 

In early June, the Southern Railway (SR) announced the introduction of this premium train service between SMVT Bengaluru and Madurai, and later conducted a successful trial run. 

Originally scheduled to start on June 20, the service was delayed due to a fatal train accident in West Bengal on June 17. 

Officials from both the SR and the South Western Railway (SWR) said they were awaiting official notification about when the train would start. 

For now, the SR plans to run the train as a special service until the Railway Board approves its regular operation, according to a senior official in the Madurai railway division.

"The special train could start within 14 days with a certain number of trips," the official told DH. The Madurai division has already received a rake (trainset), he added. 

The railways typically operates special trains to meet extra demand during peak seasons. However, the Vande Bharat service is rarely run as a special train. 

Currently, the Chennai Egmore-Nagercoil Vande Bharat Express, also announced in early June, is operating as a special train, the official pointed out. 

The Bengaluru-Madurai Vande Bharat will be maintained at the Madurai Junction. Its operational speed and fares will be known after the official notification is issued, the official added. 

Expected to be the fastest train between the two cities, the Vande Bharat will cover the 430 km distance in eight hours. The current fastest train takes nine-and-a-half hours. 

Bengaluru already has Vande Bharat trains to Chennai/Mysuru, Dharwad, Kalaburagi, Hyderabad and Coimbatore. There are two Vande Bharat trains to Chennai/Mysuru. A Vande Bharat has also been proposed between Bengaluru and Ernakulam. 

Timings, stoppages & fares

According to the tentative timetable, the train will depart from Madurai at 5.15 am and reach SMVT Bengaluru at 1.15 pm. In the return direction, the train will leave SMVT Bengaluru at 1.45 pm and reach Madurai at 10.25 pm. 

The stoppages will be Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Karur and Salem. The train may also stop at Namakkal and KR Puram, but no decision has been made yet. 

The chair-car fare is expected to be Rs 1,200-1,300 while the executive-class passengers will likely pay Rs 1,800-2,000. 

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Published 26 June 2024, 20:21 IST

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